Singapore is an anomaly in SE Asia. Is it a country? Is it city? Am I really not allowed to spit? One thing is for sure: it’s clean!
We stopped by for a quick 3 days/2 nights before heading to Indonesia. It was a nice break to have the conveniences of a developed nation, but it came with high prices. For the first time on this trip we stayed in a dorm-style room (Sleepy Kiwi Hostel), which means 10 bunk beds in one room, shared bathroom, and lockers for the valuables. It was $15/person/night. Half of that would usually buy us a nice hotel room! Regardless, it was clean, comfortable, and close to public transportation.
Most of our time was spent taking care of things that only a technology hub could provide. I broke the screen of my iPhone in Malaysia, but there were plenty of places to get it repaired in Singapore. (Let’s just hope my travelers insurance covers it *fingers crossed*) We also tried to get Gabriella’s camera fixed because there’s a spot on the lens, but they said it would require at least a week to do. In such an expensive city, we couldn’t afford to stay that long, so for now we’ll just live with it. The rest of the time we browsed through air-conditioned malls and gawked at the incredibly high prices.
Singapore is a model for sustainability in a part of the world that desperately needs the example. Public transportation is adequate and easy to use, there are green spaces for public use (even on a high rise building – see pic), and trash bins are accompanied by recycling bins. This was also the first place where it was safe to drink the tap water!
The architecture is unique and it gave us a feeling of being in a big city back home. We agreed it was most similar to Vancouver, but I felt hints of Orlando and Chicago, too. The streets are clean, there are skyscrapers (most of which are banks), and a harbor with a giant Ferris wheel.
All in all, Singapore is a great place to visit if you have the money to enjoy it. For backpackers like us, it was in and out before the funds got too low. We really appreciated having the basic things like clean water, a flushing toilet, and functioning waste management that often get taken for granted back home. But then again, traveling is more interesting without those luxuries. 😉